The main reason for a hard and tough pastry is that it has been frozen too long. If you want to avoid this problem, freeze the pastry only for 2 hours at maximum.
What is a shortcrust pastry?
Short-crusted pies are usually made by rolling out very thin layers of butter cubes and flour. They tend to crumble easily when handled.
Sweet shortcrust pastry also require less effort than other types of pastry because they don’t contain any leaveners like yeast or chemical raising agents. However, it takes longer to prepare compared to regular flaky pastries.
Pastry Troubleshooting Guide
If you have a tough pastry or if your dough seems very dry or if there are cracks in the crust when you bake it, try adding more tablespoons water before rolling out the dough.
This will help prevent cracking during baking. Also, make sure that your oven temperature is correct. It should be set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can also add some extra plain flour to the surface of the dough so that it doesn’t stick as much while rolling out.
This happens because the pie filling was not cooked enough.
The best way to fix this issue is by using an instant read thermometer to check whether the internal temperature of the pie reaches 165 degrees Farenheit.
In addition, if you have used canned pumpkin instead of fresh pumpkin puree, then cook the mixture until it’s soft.
Burned or Over-Browned
Over browning occurs when the sugar caramelizes and turns dark brown. In order to avoid this, reduce the heat setting of your oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Alternatively, place aluminum foil between the top layer of the pie crust and the bottom one.
In addition, if you find that the edges of the pie crust are burnt, cover with plastic wrap once they turn golden brown.
Dry or Mealy Texture
To solve this problem, increase the amount of liquid added to the recipe. For example, if you’re making muffin recipes, double up the milk quantity.
Cracked Top Layer
When preparing the pie crust, roll it out thinly. Then fold back the edge of the rolled-out dough and press down firmly onto itself.
After doing this, cut off any excess dough around the rim of the pie plate. Finally, brush the entire surface of the pie shell with melted unsalted butter.
Pale Pastry or Dull Color
For pale color, mix together 1/4 cup granulated white sugar and 3 tablespoons cornstarch. Add these ingredients to the wet ingredients along with the eggs. Mix well.
Pour the batter into the prepared pie shell. Sprinkle evenly with additional granulated sugar. Cover with aluminum foil during baking with preheated oven for 30–40 minutes.
Remove the foil and set the cook time for another 10–15 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.
Doughy or Wet Texture
Add egg yolks to the wet ingredients. Beat thoroughly. Gradually stir in the remaining dry ingredients. Continue mixing until all lumps disappear. Fold in whipped cream cheese. Transfer the mixture to the pie shell.
Brush the top with beaten egg whites. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Cut several slits across the top of the pie. Place under broiler for about 15 seconds just to melt the sugar crystals slightly. Serve warm.
Crumbly pastry or Too Tender
Use a fork to break apart the crumbs after removing them from the freezer. If necessary, use a knife to gently push the crumbs through the holes.
In addition, do not overbake the pie. Bake at 325°F for 20 minutes only.
My cooked pastry has a speckled appearance
The most common reason behind this phenomenon is due to uneven distribution of fat within the dough.
To resolve this issue, divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll each part separately. Once done, combine both portions and reroll. Repeat this process twice more.
Why does my pie taste sweet?
The sweet pastry could be either too many sugars or insufficient acidity.
Try reducing the sugar content. Or else, add lemon juice or vinegar to balance the sweetness level.
How can I make sure my pie doesn’t burn on the sides?
Place an inverted baking tray underneath the pie during the last 5 minutes of the baking process. This will prevent burning.
In addition, try using baking paper instead of greasing the pan. It’s easier to remove the baked pie without damaging its shape.
What should I do if my pie cracks while cooling?
If the crack appears near the center of the pie, then there might have been some air bubbles trapped inside the filling.
You need to carefully pierce the cracked area with a sharp paring knife. The hole needs to be large enough so as to allow the steam to escape.
Do not poke the hole directly into the filling. Instead, insert the tip of your knife into the crack first.
Gently pull up the blade towards you. When the crack starts to close, stop pulling. Now slowly lower the blade downwards again. Keep repeating this procedure until the crack closes entirely.
If the crack occurs near the edges of the pie, then the problem lies elsewhere. There may be excessive moisture present in the filling which causes the cracking.